The purpose of the Construction Lien Act committee is to redevelop industry consensus and re-introduce reform proposals to the Ministry of the Attorney General, and ensure the Ministry follows through on promise to introduce legislation and pass into law.
Report on 2015 Activities
On March 28, 2014 the then minority Liberal government first announced its intention to convene a comprehensive review of the Construction Lien Act. This announcement was the government’s way to conveniently put an end to Bill 69, Prompt Payment Act 2013.
A general election was called for June 12, 2014 and it wasn’t until February 11, 2015 that the Attorney General in the new majority Liberal government announced that Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel, construction specialist lawyers with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, had been appointed as Counsel and Co-counsel to lead the review. They were mandated to study the effectiveness of the Construction Lien Act, to assess the effectiveness of dispute resolution under the Act and to consider the issues of delayed payment that arose during the Bill 69 hearings. Their review was scheduled to be completed at the end of 2015. On March 4, 2015 representatives of COCA’s Construction Lien Act Task Force met with Reynolds and Vogel to discuss the scope of their engagement and the process they would follow in the course of their work. On July 15th Reynolds and Vogel published a detailed 72 page consultation paper and COCA’s Construction Lien Act Task Force sprang into action. The Task Force held a series of lengthy conferences to consider the consultation paper clause by clause and to develop a comprehensive set of recommendations. The Task Force’s work was approved by COCA’s Executive Committee and submitted to Reynolds and Vogel. (The submission was subsequently approved by COCA’s Board of Directors.)
Highlights of the submission included the following:
- That prompt payment legislation is COCA’s very highest priority
- That holdback must be deposited into a separate trust account
- That funds for projects that have a value in excess of $5M must be deposited into a dedicated project specific trust account; to reduce the administrative burden for small contracts, funds for projects with a value of less than $5M should be deposited into a mixed trust account dedicated for all projects of that size
- That there must be provision for the mandatory early release of holdback at the request of the sub
- That lien claimants must be given priority of over mortgagees
On November 14, 2015 representatives of the Task Force met again with Reynolds and Vogel to discuss our submissions and to deliberate on a number of the challenging issues confronting the review leaders.
We have since learned that the Review has been extended until March 31, 2016.
We are grateful for the efforts of the Task Force members in developing such a high quality and comprehensive submission. Members of the Construction Lien Act Task Force are:
- Ted Dreyer – Task Force Chair - Madorin, Snyder LLP (Grand Valley Construction Association)
- Glenn Ackerley – WeirFoulds LLP (Toronto Construction Association)
- Jim DiNovo – BML Multi Trades (Hamilton-Halton Construction Association)
- Martha George – Grand Valley Construction Association
- Eric O. Gionet – Dooley Lucenti Barristers & Solicitors (Barrie Construction Association)
- Paul Gunning – Acoustical Association of Ontario
- Ron Johnson – Interior Systems Contractors Association
- Jeff Koller – Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario
- Sandra Skivsky - Ontario Masonry Contractors Association
- Andrew Sefton – Ontario Painting Contractors Association
- Gary van Bolderen – Dutch Masters Construction Services (Canadian Farm Builders Association, Barrie Construction Association, Council of Ontario Construction Associations)
- Ian Cunningham – Council of Ontario Construction Associations